Today, I went to a music festival with my husband and 14 year old son. We had agreed to go and have a look around, play a piece of music on our whistles and keyboard, have a pub lunch and come home.
When we arrived at the sea front where there were a few buskers dotted around up the prom, my son looked forlorn. In fact he had looked forlorn for the entire walk from the car through a beautiful park. When I asked him what was wrong, he said “I don’t belong here”. He went on to say that this was because he had no purpose. I pointed out that only 5% of people there had instruments and the rest of the people were just the general public. I told him that being him in that place was enough. His mood lightened a little but he was clearly not convinced.
We went back to the park, where my son opened up more, saying that there was no purpose for his existence. It was heart breaking to hear and yet I understood exactly what was behind those words. It was the feeling that I had as a child, a feeling I have had as an adult, of being displaced and detached from everything and everyone around you.
I convinced my son of all of his qualities, all his gifts and all the purpose that he has in his life. Then I addressed the feelings. I know that at the root of the feelings are undetected eye phorias. I know this because today I was wearing a pair of glasses prescribed by myself with just the right strength and direction of prism in to make me feel OK.
And I felt beyond OK. I was calm in the face of all the difficulties, having to give several wellbeing lectures along the way with people around me, and when we got to the pub and they had run out of gammon and chicken (my goto meals) I just refused anything else and ate the sourdough sandwich in my bag. The point is that I wasn’t angry with anyone or anything, because I felt that I belonged. I had a right to be there and a right to have my needs. I understand now why in the past I have got angry and upset if things didn’t run smoothly. It was all because I didn’t feel I belonged.
If you or someone you know are struggling with depression or negative feelings, it could be as simple as a feeling that you/they don’t belong. And the answer could be simple too. You just need to find your so far undetected eye phorias and then you/they will see the world through a whole new lens.
Phoria sensitivity occurs when you are sensitive to your eye-gaze. Your gaze may not be comfortable at the point where you are choosing to look, so it moves somewhere else!
I have lived with undetected phorias for most of my life and only just discovered them. I felt there was something wrong but couldn’t work out what it was. I have been seen as a hands off, nervous person who stands on the outside of situations and doesn’t get involved. In fact at some point during my journey, I realised that I had a big issue with involvement. As a result I did everything I could to be more involved with my life and other people. But this way of living had huge limitations for me. The more involved I got with my life, the more exhausted I became. And I ended up choosing the health of my nervous system over more involvement.
I have missed so many opportunities to be part of community and at the moment I am feeling sad about this. I wouldn’t say I am from a super close family but most members have stayed in touch and met up for special occasions. Most of the time I wasn’t there. I haven’t stayed in touch with friends or family friends.
I didn’t know why I was like this. I see myself as a friendly person and an open book. But I just didn’t have the energy needed to be part of something. My phorias made me feel that I was always being divided from myself. My vision, sound, temperature, food textures, touch, smell, taste, all felt like they had parts missing. How could I be part of something, feeling like a divided person?
Now I get it! GOOD VISUAL FOCUS is the answer. GOOD BINOCULAR VISION is the key. Now I have these things, for the first time, I feel that I could be part of something!
Yes, as much as anyone can ride a bicycle, knit a jumper or bake a cake, anyone can work with their phorias. It is not like going to the see the optician or optometrist, though, where things are done for you and results are presented to you. It is a skill that takes a level of self awareness and needs to be learnt over time. The skill of working with your phorias requires you to be curious about your relationship with your eyes.
The only people who start this adventure are those who feel there is something not right about their eyes, having tried everything the health professionals have to offer. You might suffer with unresolved light sensitivity, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, depression or anxiety . . . just to name a few symptoms that could be bothering you. You might feel a deep sensitivity that is all consuming and severely hampers you from living a full life.
I have written this blog for people like you – not for those who are happy with their eyes – but for those whose eyes are saying “Surely something could be better.”
Please take a look at these tests and see if that person is you:
For the last two days I have only wanted ham sandwiches for lunch. The second of the two days I managed the texture of crisps. On the first day the crisps tasted ‘soft’ and on the second they tasted, well . . .crisp!
Then today I suddenly wanted texture again and had chicken curry, rice and courgettes.
On days one and two I knew I had an UP phoria but I had no glasses with DOWN prism to treat it. Now on day three I have an OUT phoria and have some IN glasses to treat it. When I put these glasses on, I was suddenly very clear thinking and I didn’t feel dizzy and disorientated any more. I thought about what I would like for lunch and to my relief I didn’t have to choose ham sandwiches!
What happens when I treat my phorias with prism?
A phoria can cause the image to go off centre on the part of the retina that is related to acuity and good colour perception. Just being a tiny amount off centre can cause issues with these things. Everything you see just feels ‘off’. Colour doesn’t make sense. There is slight distortion of depth perception, meaning that we don’t feel centred. This makes it difficult to have a good relationship with our physical world. It is literally an effort to pick up the knife and fork and engage with the food. A curry will look a ‘funny’ red and courgette, a ‘funny’ green, and rice just bland. Nothing draws us in to want to eat.
When I wear my glasses to treat my phoria, the image goes back on the centre of my retina. I feel centred and able to engage with the physical word. Colour appears fine and food appears appetising. I can’t wait to pick up my knife and fork and enjoy my lunch!
Please follow me and you will hear the up and downs of my energy patterns through the year and how I have learnt to thrive, no matter the weather, no matter the light! You will find all my previous entries on my ‘Lightwatcher Diary’ page.
If you understand your state, then you can understand your needs. If you understand your needs, then you can fully live your life.
Today is a beautiful day and we planned an early cliff top walk at the sea. I have lot of pair of glasses now to treat my different phorias and felt sure I could find one in my collection for the phoria of the day. But I didn’t. Then I realised that my eye gaze was going IN and DOWN. This was a phoria that I hadn’t previously identified. Suddenly I understood why I felt a bit unstable and wobbly plus quite emotional at the thought of needing another pair of glasses!
We went down to the sea and when we arrived on the front (still in the car,) I noted that I felt a bit insecure. Also my light sensitivity wasn’t good. At this point I was wearing just prescription glasses with no prism. Then as the sun came come out, I guessed that my phoria would be an UP and OUT and my IN DOWN glasses worked very nicely.
However as we walked up the cliff, the weather changed and it became more overcast. I felt my insecure feelings again and the higher we got up the cliff, the more insecure I felt. I then actually felt that my eyes were going DOWN and IN. I felt hemmed in and a bit alone even though I was safe with my family. And in that moment I remembered lots of family holidays as a child where I felt exactly the same thing. Out of nowhere I would feel so insecure and in those moments no-one seemed able to reach me.
Now I know it is just a phoria and not a deep psychological emotional issue. I feel so relieved and like a weight as been lifted off my shoulders.
What Can I Do About it?
I need a pair of glasses with prism to redirect my gaze.
The prisms I need are Right and Left eye – Prisms O.25 OUT and O.25 UP. I make useful acronyms and I call these my ROULOU glasses. And I have ordered them. I look forward to wearing them and finding out just how good I could feel on a sunny day on the cliff tops in July!
Today I really wanted to work with a document on my computer where I am working with a lot of detail. It is a chart so I am also working with a grid. When I first got up and started this work, I felt great because I had the right pair of glasses on to treat a phoria. My phoria was RIGHT OUT and LEFT DOWN and OUT. So I was wearing prisms to bring my eyes to the correct position on the horizontal and vertical plane.
Then the day became brighter – just subtly- and I felt something change in myself. I could feel that I was starting to develop eyestrain and that this was causing me to tighten up in my jaw, shoulders and chest. I knew this was going to have a knock on effect on my breathing and my digestive system. Sure enough when I looked at the writing I was working on, my focus had changed. Whereas initially, I was focusing exactly on the words , now my eyes were going slightly above the words.
So I knew that my phoria must have changed. Now my eyes were RIGHT IN and LEFT OUT UP. And so I needed a different pair of glasses., which I don’t possess yet.
I can see a day of poor focus looming. It is a pity because everything is pretty clear. It is just that my eye are not looking where I intend them to look! And that is absolutely exhausting. I will have to have a big picture day and not a detail day for sure!
Why not have a go at the Reading Testand see where your eyes are looking today.
When I have this phoria, my eyes are both essentially looking up and to the left. I feel as if I just don’t want to speak because nothing really makes sense. I can have a conversation but I won’t be able to join up the dots. And the more fixed someone is on something they believe, the more angry I am. I can’t focus on anything – not even what I believe – so why should someone else have a voice?
Feeling like this is terrible. I feel like a terrible person but I know I am not really. This is just how the phoria is making me feel.
What Can I Do About it?
I need a pair of glasses with prism to redirect my gaze.
The prisms I need are Right eye – Prisms O.5 OUT, O.25 DOWN and Left Eye Prisms O.5 IN and O.25 DOWN. I make useful acronyms and I call these my RODLID glasses. And I have ordered them. I look forward to wearing them when this phoria dares to turn up next time!
Oh – the IN phoria – not nice! Today my gaze is going UP and IN. It makes me feel trapped, hemmed in, as if I am living in a small space. It just feels very hard to see out, to follow a conversation and impossible to see somebody else’s point of view! I feel easily confused and ridiculously easily overwhelmed. I feel not centred and present, and this makes it hard to enjoy relationship
Don’t forget – I am only talking about an eye gaze. On first thought my vision seems completely normal. The next clue is that I feel slightly off balance. And after that, I slowly become aware of all of the above.
What Can I Do About It?
I need to work out the phorias in both eyes. For me today, my phoria in my right eye is In and UP. And my phoria in my left eye is OUT. So I need glasses with prism to correct this.
The prisms I need are Right eye – Prisms O.5 OUT, O.25 DOWN and Left Eye Prisms O.5 IN. I make useful acronyms and I call these my RODLI glasses. And I have ordered them. I look forward to wearing them when this phoria dares to turn up next time!